Transmembrane adaptor proteins (of which 7 have been identified so far) are involved in receptor signaling in immune cells. They have only a short extracellular region, with most of the molecule comprising a substantial intracytoplasmic region carrying multiple tyrosine residues that can be phosphorylated by Src- or Syk-family kinases. In this paper, we report an immunohistologic study of 6 of these molecules in normal and neoplastic human tissue sections and show that they are restricted to subpopulations of lymphoid cells, being present in either T cells (LAT, LIME, and TRIM), B cells (NTAL), or subsets of both cell types (PAG and SIT). Their expression in neoplastic lymphoid cells broadly reflects that of normal lymphoid tissue, including the positivity of plasma cells and myeloma/plasmacytoma for LIME, NTAL, PAG, and SIT. However, this study also revealed some reactions that may be of diagnostic/prognostic value. For example, lymphocytic lymphoma and mantle-cell lymphoma showed similar profiles but differed clearly from follicle-center lymphoma, whereas PAG tended to be selectively expressed in germinal center-derived subsets of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma. These molecules represent a potentially important addition to the panel of immunophenotypic markers detectable in routine biopsies that can be used in hematopathologic studies.
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